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Two Bocconi PhD Graduates in the Final Phase of the Savage Award

, by Andrea Costa
Marta Catalano and Augusto Fasano compete for the acknowledgement with their theses in Bayesian statistics

Two recent graduates from the Bocconi PhD in Statistics, Marta Catalano (currently at the Department of Statistics, University of Warwick) and Augusto Fasano (EU Joint Research Centre, Ispra, and Collegio Carlo Alberto, Turin) have had their PhD theses selected for the final round of the prestigious "L. J. Savage Award", respectively in the Theory and Methods and Applied Methodology categories.

The award, named in honor of Leonard J. Savage, is bestowed each year by the American Statistical Association (ASA) and the International Society for Bayesian Analysis (ISBA) to two outstanding doctoral dissertations in Bayesian econometrics and statistics, one in each of the two aforementioned categories.

Marta's thesis stands out for the innovative and principled perspective on measuring dependence in complex Bayesian statistical models. Her theoretical findings pave the way to a new methodology for addressing challenging approximation problems of statistical models and for unraveling the dependence among heterogeneous data that are recorded under different, though related, experimental conditions. This is a standard modeling framework in applications involving, e.g., clinical trials, change-point problems and multi-center studies.

Augusto's thesis, for its part, is inherently motivated by a broad class of modern applied problems - in, e.g., econometrics, biostatistics and machine learning - which involve Bayesian modeling of binary and categorical data, and yields substantial and impactful theoretical, methodological and computational advances that will boost the applicability of the Bayesian approach within these relevant frameworks, while enlarging its potentials.

The finalists will present their works next June at the 2022 ISBA World Meeting in Montreal, where the award winners will be proclaimed.